A/B Testing And Failing Fast…With a Band

Once upon a time I used to stay up late, like 3am in the morning late.  That’s what happens when you play in a band and your set doesn’t start until 10:30pm.  The whole night was fun until the dark underbelly of performing is exposed…load out.  Hauling out heavy, clunky equipment between narrow doorways, up and down stairs, and up hill both ways is rough on your knuckles, your buzz, and your post-show glow.

For us to get to show night, we clocked 10’s of thousands of hours seconds, preparing for the show.  Before lean agile split test pivoting to fail fast was popularized and glorified in the startup world, we inadvertently stumbled across this philosophy in the band.

Can You Feel the A/B Testing Here?
Can You Feel the A/B Testing Here?

Whenever you’re making anything up from scratch, you try a few different versions before you settle in on the final take.  Try B minor up on that change…no wait…D minor sounds even sadder…yeah…do that.  Now drop it down a third…aww yeah.  This holds true for composing as well as startup marketing, product development, whatever.  The best gauge of success of those adjustments remains audience/customer feedback.  Speaking of which…

"Easy" not so easy to perform...well.
“Easy” not so easy to perform…well.

And then there was the time we played “Easy”, by Lionel Ritchie, at a Friday night Shakori Hills festival.  Afterwards, my wife said she was embarrassed for us, and the event organizers told us we could never play there again.  We failed fast and left the crooning to the experts.  Turns out Easy really ain’t that easy to do right.

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